Remembering the Magic of Christmas in Millbrook, NY

The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York at Christmas
The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York at Christmas

Remembering The Holiday’s in Millbrook, New York

Remembering this time of year when the village of Millbrook, New York would decorate for the Holiday season!

This is the old Corner News Store that many may remember and many have just heard the stories that this business had in the life of the Village.

Its customers were from all around the world from the students of Bennett College and before that when it had the name Bennett School of Girls.

Millbrook School for Boys in which that was called before it went co-ed and turned into  Millbrook School, and who can’t say they don’t enjoy the Trevor Zoo that they have created throughout the years?

Then it had those that worked for the Cary Arboretum, which is now The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, which is world renown for its work.

We also had Innisfree Garden that bring tourist into our area when it opened for its season, too!

And I can’t forget Millbrook Winery with all the locals and tourists coming to have the taste of their fine wines!

So many great Millbrook Memories!

Growing up as the Oldest 

The John and Marilyn Kading Children, Diane, Johnny, Debbie, Donald and our dog Princess
The John and Marilyn Kading Children, Diane, Johnny, Debbie, Donald and our dog Princess

Boy, do I remember this time of year when I was growing up as the first child of John and Marilyn Kading, owners of The Corner News Store on Franklin Avenue in Millbrook, New York!

I loved this time of year when I would get to see so many people coming into the store to pick up those necessary items on their lists!

It was also a time when I would get to work later in the evening and on Sunday afternoons with dad, too.

In other words, I would get my father all to myself, and I’d get to see him do what he loved to do!

So it was so much fun for me to work those weekday nights and those Sunday afternoons doing those kinds of things that I loved to do, while dad took the post at the cash register. (He’d usually let mom have those Sunday afternoons off!)

John Kading of Millbrook, New York with his daughter, Diane Kading
John Kading of Millbrook, New York with his daughter, Diane Kading

Screams of Joy

There was always so much to get done on my ‘To do’ list at this time of year, too, but I loved to check off the completed ones, to find another to add to it again.

But the one thing I can remember very clearly about this time of year growing up is that everyone seemed joyful and excited for the holidays!

Shirley Evert working at The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York
Shirley Evert working at The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York

I remember so many times when I was busy getting that To Do List done around the store when I’d hear my mom or Shirley Evert scream in joy!

Shirley Evert working at The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York at Christmas time
Shirley Evert working at The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York at Christmas time

Then I’d hear, ” It’s so good to see you!

How’s the family?”

And this would continue during this magical time of year when families would return to their hometown during the holidays! Not to say it didn’t happen at other times during the year because it did!

The ‘Google’ of Millbrook

It was always a magical time of year for sure when the family came back home to visit family during the holidays! It was a time when people cared about hearing the stories of people’s lives and they actually listened! (Before cell phones that took our attention away!)

The days of the past when The Corner News Store was the heartbeat of the Village of Millbrook.

Marilyn Kading at The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York
Marilyn Kading at The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York

It was the Google of Millbrook! 

You could come in to ask a question and there was a good chance, you’d get the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ answer instantly!

Yes, unfortunately, those days of the past have gone. And since that day years ago, when this Google of Millbrook, The Corner News Store had closed its doors, so much has changed in the Village of Millbrook, too.

Special People Living in a Special Town-Millbrook

However, Millbrook, New York will always have that special place in any one’s heart because of the people that have shared this small little town within your life, too.

Beautiful Picture of St. Joseph Church In Millbrook, NY
Beautiful Picture of St. Joseph Church In Millbrook, NY

Whether these special people were from your church

or from a business such as The Corner News Store, or even the welcome you always get at The Bank of Millbrook!

The important thing is to remember that there was a connection to them that will survive through the many years of your life.

Thank you to all those my family have had that ‘special’ connection with over our lives, too!


Welcome to Bennett College in Millbrook, New York
Bennett College in Millbrook, New York

The memory of certain people will survive that brutal test of time, many have called it, and yet when that person is mentioned in a conversation with somebody many years later, a story will be remembered about them and the laughs about that event or the sadness of it can be felt again and again, too.

This is what life’s about, isn’t it?

The memories we all have of our childhood growing up in Millbrook, New York is a treasure for all of us, and I want so much to cherish those Millbrook Memories on this website and the Facebook page with the same name too.

Tribute Garden in Millbrook, New York
Remember this? The Tribute Gardens in Millbrook, New York

Remember to Play and Swing

The Tribute Garden in Millbrook, New York
The Tribute Garden in Millbrook, New York

When some kind of ‘problem’ appears to be written into the script of our lives, I want people to be able to come to this website and take a stroll down memory lane and be comforted by the images or the stories that will be told by me, my father, or my Aunt Helen, or one of the many funny stories from my Uncle Henry for the years to come.

I would want you to take a look at that swing at The Tribute Gardens or on the playground at one of the schools you had once attended, and to close your eyes to remember your childhood, swinging on that swing, and how that ‘problem’ will hopefully lessen in its intensity in your lives too.

In living our years together in our beloved Millbrook, we all share something pretty GRAND I would call it, wouldn’t you?

We share something Grand, indeed and we all have been blessed by having the support of the community in so many things my father had been involved with throughout his lifetime too.

After all it was all of you in the Community of Millbrook and the surrounding areas that had given The Corner News Store its life and supported my family throughout its years, so my “why” is to return that back to creating this website called Millbrook Memories to celebrate all the years we have shared together and to share our stories as well!

Connection with the World Image
Connection with the World

Connection to All in Millbrook

We are living in a time when the connection is so needed in our lives and yet many have been unable to find something that calls to them in their hearts that they would want to reach out to connect.

Well, my hope and prayer for this site is to reach out to all those that have a need to share their Millbrook Memories and just like when someone would welcome you as you came into The Corner News Store, I want to welcome all of you as well in the same way that my parents had done for 52 years in The Corner News!

(And yes, I am my father’s daughter, after all!)

Please Share your Millbrook Memories of the Holidays

The holidays are coming so please share your Millbrook Memories of your past holiday’s in the comments, too.

It’s that magical Millbrook time of year when the Christmas trees sparkle their coloured lights as you drive up or down Franklin Avenue in Millbrook, New York!

We are surely blessed to have our eyes be greeted with such a beautiful site and our hearts filled over the many years this has been done in the Village.

Thanks to all the people that make this happen at this Magical time in the Village of Millbrook possible, too!

We are grateful for it giving us this Magical touch at Christmas time in our beloved Millbrook!

Blessings to the Millbrook Memories we all have together that unites us!


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Ernest Kading-A Portrait of a German Immigrant

Ernest and Charlotte Kading's Family John Kading Henry Kading Helen Kading Russell Doland
The Ernest and Charlotte Kading Family

Ernest Kading

Portrait of a German Immigrant

written by Jay Russell

Ernest Kading was born on May 11, 1902, in Blumberg, Germany.

He was the tenth child of Louise and Johann Kading.

Early Schooling

Ernest spent his early childhood in Gumbinnnen attending school at the Gumbinnnen elementary.

He started school when he was 6 years old and continued through school until he was 14 years old.

During those eight years, he learned just the basic educational skills such as a reading, writing, and arithmetic.

Formal Education or Trade Education

As was the custom in Germany at this time after a child completed those eight years of schooling he could either continue with more formal education or develop a trade.

He chooses to learn a trade and decided to become a machinist.

He attended the Vereinigte Maschinenfabriken for a total of three years before he graduated with honours in 1921.

The first two years there was mainly conducted in the classroom working and studying form a number of books.

Last year he worked as an apprentice at the school.

Working After Graduation

After Ernest finished his schooling he worked approximately three years in various machine factories throughout Germany.

In 1924 he got a job at one of Germany’s largest manufacturing plants The Deutsche Weke.

There his job was to go to the customer’s place of business or farm and set up or put together the product they purchased.

German Flag
Germany Flag

Moving to America

Ernest was laid off from the Deutsche Were in 1925 and after being unemployed for about a half a year decided to move to America.

His sister, Henrietta and brother-in-law, Herman had moved to America a few years earlier and told him of the great opportunities in America.

In order for an immigrant to come over to America, a sponsor had to be able to support the person.

Ernest was sponsored by Herman Ramnitz.

On July 25, 1925, Ernest sailed on a ship to America leaving behind his fiancee Charlotte.

The voyage took about seven days.

There were approximately 200 passengers aboard the ship named Hamburg.

United States of America Flag
United States of America Flag

Arriving in America  

The ship docked in New York City and there Herman was waiting for him.

After passing custom inspection they took the train to Wingdale, New York where Herman owned a small farm.

Ernest worked on Herman’s farm for a year getting little pay mainly his room and board.

Having established himself in the United States he then sent for his fiancee Charlotte Pusch who he became engaged to while still in Germany.

Old letters Many letters written between Ernest and Charlotte Kading until they were reunited in America
Old Letters

Charlotte Arrives in America

On April 18, 1927, Charlotte arrived in New York City.

As soon as Charlotte arrived Ernest and her were required to get married according to Immigration rules before he could take her off the ship.

Ernest and Charlotte went to the office of the Manhattan City Clerk.

There they were married by J.J. McCormick, Deputy City Clerk of Manhattan, New York with two strangers as witnesses.


 Second Wedding

They then went back to Herman’s farm where they lived in one room of Herman’s small farmhouse.

On May 8, 1927, they had another wedding in the Wingdale Methodist Church because they wanted to have a formal church wedding.

Henrietta, Herman and ten other guests attended the wedding.

They stayed at Herman’s place about a year.

With the money Charlotte brought from Germany, they purchased a second-hand car.

First Apartment to First Child

With transportation, they moved out of Wingdale and into an apartment house in Dover Plains, New York in search of work.

Ernest got a job at the Lime Kiln as a machine repairman.

He worked there for five years until the Lime Kiln closed down.

While in Dover Plains they had two children.

John born on May 28, 1928, and Helen on April 15, 1930.

He also applied for United States citizenship which he received on May 13, 1933.



This being the depression years, work was scarce and Ernest next job was as a bricklayer construction the Harlem Valley State Hospital located in Wingdale, New York.

He only worked there a few months because the work was too strenuous for him.

Thorndale Estate, Millbrook, New York

Ernest heard from a friend about a tractor man job opening in Thorndale Estate in Millbrook, New York.

He inquired and was hired by Mr. Oakleigh Thorne in April of 1933.

Thorndale at this time was making the transition from horsepower to the tractor and other machinery to do the farm work.

So it was necessary that they hire someone with the knowledge of machinery.

The 1000 acre Thorndale Estate was split up into three sections; the garden, the farm, and the stable.

The formal gardens were managed by Mrs. Oakleigh Thorne and were considered to be one of the loveliest in the country.

She planned and planted these in the early 20th century and they have since matured and continue to enhance the beauty of their classic 1839 42 room mansion.

Employed at the gardens were twenty-one workers.

The cattle farm was managed by Mr. Oakleigh Thorne and it raised and bred high-quality black Aberdeen Angus cattle imported from Scotland.

There were eighteen employed in this branch of Thorndale.

The third section of Thorndale was the horse stables which was run by Mrs. Margaret Thorne Marshall on of the Thorne’s daughters.

Here they employed three stable men who cared for 20 to 30 standardbred racehorses.

Also employed on Thorndale at this time were two chauffeurs and maids in the big house.

Ernest work day started at 7 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m.

His job consisted of feeding and caring for the cattle, planting and harvesting the crops.

He also was in charge of repairing the different farm machinery and making sure it was in running order.

Ernest got paid $65 a month; plus his house and two quarts of milk.

The reason he got two quarts was that at this time he had two children and he got a quart for every child.

Birth of 3rd Child

On May 3, 1934, his third child Henry was born.

He then got three quarts of milk a day.

Although Charlotte had to take care of the young children she too worked.

She fed three meals a day to three men who worked in the stables.

For this, she received $120 a month.

A Cow, Garden, Rabbits and Chickens

Years later they purchased their own cow with money they borrowed from Mr. Thorne.

Whenever Ernest was busy, the job of milking the cow was done by Charlotte or the kids.

They also had their own garden where they grew vegetables for table use and canning.

The children raised rabbits and chickens and sold the eggs to make a little money for themselves.

John the oldest son also worked on Thorndale when he was around 12 years old.

His salary for working during his summer vacation was a $25 savings bond.

Cash or Credit?

Ernest was the type of the who didn’t believe in credit.

If he couldn’t pay cash for something he usually went without it.

Although when it came to groceries he was forced to use a charge account.

He charged the groceries all month and paid for them on the first of the month when he got paid.

Usually, by the time they paid the bill for last month, there would be very little left for this month so they usually charged food all over again.

Charlotte’s Sewing Machine

When Charlotte lived in Germany she worked as an apprentice for a tailor to learn her trade.

When she came to America she put her talents to work with her sewing machine which she bought soon after arriving here.

The first thing she made was a pair of pants and a jacket for her husband.

She also made all of the children’s clothes because they couldn’t afford to buy them.

A Social Life?

The Kading’s had a very limited social life.

Charlotte rarely went out except to church on Sunday with the rest of the family.

On Saturday evenings Ernest would go with his German friends to Poughkeepsie to socialize and play cards with friends located there.

Sometimes the kids would go along and window shop on Main Street while waiting for their father.

German Spies

During the years of the World War 11, German people were carefully watched in fear that they could possibly be spies.

One day some FBI agents visited Thorndale to check the German people living there.

It just so happened that when they checked the Kading house they found a short-wave radio and a camera.

The agent threatened to smash the camera and take Charlotte to jail.

But Ernest convinced them that the camera belonged to his, John and that his wife, Charlotte was not a healthy woman.

So in fear that she would be more of a burden to them they did not take her away.

Leaving Thorndale

In 1965 Ernest left his position of Farm Superintendent on Thorndale because he was getting old and worried about receiving enough Social Security benefits when he became eligible.

His salary on Thorndale was $325 a month.

He then moved to an apartment on top of his son’s store, The Corner News Store and was located on Franklin Avenue, Millbrook, New York.

New Job

He then got a job as a janitor at Millbrook Central School.

He worked there for two years until his retirement on February 13, 1967.

After his retirement, he kept busy doing odd jobs such as school crossing guard, helping John at the store, and helping Henry at the Eberhard farm in Verbank, New York.

Massive Heart Attack

Ernest died while working at the age of 68 on August 14, 1970, of a massive heart attack.

This seems quite an appropriate way since he worked hard all his life and it wouldn’t seem fitting for him to have died any other way.

He left behind his wife, Charlotte, three children, John, Helen, Henry and eleven grandchildren which he was extremely fond of.

This was the portrait of my grandfather, Ernest Kading.

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John Kading with slide projector at one of his popular slide presentation of the history of Millbrook, New York through his lifetime of pictures and slides.
John Kading Sharing his slides of Millbrook, New York
The Corner News Store on Franklin Avenue in Millbrook, New York in the early years of the ownership of John Kading
The Corner News Store in Millbrook, New York


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This is the link to sign up for Millbrook Memories Newsletter and be the first to not miss any updates on this new heartwarming journey into the past of all our Millbrook Memories!

Grateful for all your sharing and support to creating our bond that we all have in being blessed by the community of Millbrook, New York!

Enjoy the memories!

Diane Kading Schoessow

Diane Kading Schoessow creator of
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Millbrook Memories Social Media Sites


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Millbrook Memories Social Sites

As I continue to grow this website, it’s time to add Millbrook Memories to Social Media!

All websites need Social media and Millbrook Memories is no different!

So please stop by on one of the Social Media Sites I have created to share the JOY of Millbrook Memories!

And please feel free to share the images and the posts I will be posting too!

The village of Millbrook has been the home to so many and so many have come to love it too!

Many have so many happy memories of Millbrook, New York, and that’s what this website and it’s Social Media sites are to share with the world!

Please stop in to say HELLO!

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